Our Team

Ashton J. Hayward III

Ashton J. Hayward III joined AREF as President in January 2019. A native of Pensacola and a graduate of Florida State University, Hayward previously worked in New York as an executive at the AT&T Corporation and the Financial Times. In 2003, Hayward and his wife An returned to Pensacola to raise their son, Aiden. Hayward founded a successful real estate development company, which he managed until taking office as Mayor of Pensacola in 2011.  Hayward led regional economic development by working to create a cultural environment where businesses grew and thrived.

Active in public service on a local, regional, and statewide level, Hayward was appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to the Florida Commission on Community Service, also known as Volunteer Florida, and is a member of Leadership Florida’s Cornerstone Class XXXVI. Locally, Hayward has actively supported organizations including Autism Pensacola, the Gulf Coast Kids House, and the PACE Center for Girls. Hayward also currently serves on the Board of Directors for Achieve Escambia and as a member of the Escambia County Infant Mortality Task Force, and has previously served on the board of directors for the Florida League of Mayors and as a member of the Northwest Florida Transportation Corridor Authority.

Having a vast repertoire in leadership and financial development, Hayward now utilizes his experience to further the goals and mission of world renowned orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. James R. Andrews. Through his work as President of AREF, Hayward will continue to lead his team into the future of health education and research to promote sports medicine.



Leandra Price, MS, LAT, ATC

Leandra completed her undergraduate work at Quinnipiac University in Athletic Training/Sports Medicine. She continued to obtain her Masters degree at Troy University in Sports and Fitness Management. She moved from New Jersey where she worked as an athletic trainer at Hillsborough High School and spent two seasons for Sky Blue FC, a National Women’s Soccer Team. Leandra moved down to Florida to work as a clinical outreach athletic trainer for Andrews Institute at Washington High School in Pensacola before joining the Andrews Research & Education Foundation team as the Education Manager.

Leandra manages and coordinates all educational events for AREF. Events include weekly Sports Medicine Fellowship Conferences, annual Injuries in Football Conference, and many others throughout the year.


Drew Skidmore

Drew Skidmore currently facilitates research and lab related needs, including but not limited to specimen ordering, lab setup, assistance during lab, and cleanup. Drew was born and raised in Milton, FL, and earned his BS/HS in healthcare administration from the University of West Florida in 2012. Drew has been a part of Andrews Research & Education since January 2012 working as the clinical research assistant, which further helps to supplement his duties related to the surgical skills laboratory. His background and experience comes from 10 years of direct patient care working as a medical assistant in hospitals, physician offices, urgent cares, and intensive care settings.


Mikala Childs

Mikala has been apart of Andrews Research and Education Foundation since March of 2018 as one of the Clinical Research Coordinators. She is originally from the Pensacola, Florida area and graduated from The University of Florida with her Bachelors of Science in Health Education. She had 3 years of experience in clinical research, as well as 1 year assisting patients in the Emergency Room setting before joining the AREF team. With a passion in promoting health, Mikala takes pride in using her experience and dedication to improve patients’ quality of life through orthopedic research at AREF.


Kelly Derbes, RN, MPH

Kelly completed her Bachelors of Science in Health Sciences with a specialization in Public Health at the University of West Florida. She then went on to obtain her Master’s in Public Health from the University of West Florida. While working on her Master’s degree, Kelly was able to gain valuable research experience interning for the Escambia County Health Department.  Due to her love for both research and healthcare, Kelly obtained her Registered Nurse license from Fortis Institute. She has an enthusiasm for helping individuals understand more about their individual health as well as deepening society’s understanding of the importance of best practices.


Sam Davis, ATC, LAT

Sam Davis attended Wright State University and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Athletic Training and a Bachelor’s of Science Education in Sports Science.  Prior to Andrews Research and Education Foundation, Sam has had the privilege to work in multiple settings from middle school to professional women’s soccer. Sam has also had experience with PRN for Select Physical Therapy and interning with EXOS.  Sam has been with the department since January of 2018 and is an integral part of the AREF team.”


Johnny Torres

Johnny was born in East Chicago, Indiana but grew up in Puerto Rico, where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics from the University of Puerto Rico in Humacao. Prior to joining the AREF team, he demonstrated a 15 year history of working in highly-regulated chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Johnny is skilled in analytical chemistry, microbiology, environmental monitoring testing, and laboratory management.


Hillary Plummer, PhD, ATC, CES

Hillary completed her undergraduate studies at Georgia College & State University in Exercise Science. She then obtained Master’s degree in Athletic Training from the University of Arkansas before she completed a PhD in Kinesiology at Auburn University. Following the completion of her PhD studies, she did a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Southern California under the direction of Dr. Lori Michener. The focus of her research is to identify deficits in modifiable physical factors that prognosticate upper extremity injuries in overhead athletes. The long-term goal of this work is to identify athletes who may be at an increased risk of injury, and to establish a foundation for prevention programs aimed at reducing upper extremity injury.


Jen Mostert